It is with great sadness that ACHSA would like to pass on the announcement from Dr. Marv Southard that he will be stepping down as Director of DMH on November 6th. We wish him well in his retirement and thank him for his tremendous contributions to mental health.
“There is a season, turn, turn, turn and a time for every purpose under heaven.” A time to be born, a time to die. A time to plant, a time to reap. A time to work hard, a time to retire. On this day seventeen years ago I began my job as the Director of Mental Health for the County of Los Angeles, and I will retire from that job effective November 6, 2015. It has been my absolute honor to lead a Department full of skilled professionals who have been truly and honestly dedicated to making the lives of people with mental illness and their families better. I came to a Department that already had a strong foundation in recovery practices and community partnerships. But you have built on those foundations in such a way that throughout the State and even nationally your work is recognized for its innovation and effectiveness. My gratitude to you is profound because when I began my mental health work many years ago I considered it not just a job but a true calling and because of your skills: Professional, administrative, accounting, technical, and clerical, I can feel that I answered that call in an acceptable way. So, thank you once again.
I know that your dedication and skill will remain no matter what changes might occur, and on that basis I am optimistic that the work supporting hope, wellness, recovery, and resilience will continue and grow.
Marvin J. Southard, D.S.W.